Spending time at the lake is one of the best ways to relax and enjoy the beautiful weather. Here’s a list of the top 10 lakes near Sioux Falls to help when you’re making plans!

🌊 Lake Alvin Recreation Area

Lake Alvin embodies a trendy area for lake-goers. Despite the lake’s small size, families utilize the lake for a variety of entertainment purposes. With over 59 acres, Lake Alvin continues to host guests for their beach facilities and excellent fishing.

Lake Alvin recreation area covers a large portion of hilly terrain, but the site’s main attraction remains the lake. Specifically, the lake’s capabilities provide visitors ease to access water sports, swimming, and fishing.

Those who love to fish will appreciate that the lake features Walleye, Northern Pike, Crappies, Sunfish, Perch, Catfish, and Bullheads. The 105-acre lake is the perfect size for any boat, kayaks, and canoes.

The Parks and Recreation Department refers to the lake as a no-wake zone because the shoreline remains protected from erosion. Boats cannot exceed 5 miles per hour or produce a visible wake. Wildlife in this recreational area includes badgers, deer, waterfowl, turtles, and more.

Lake Alvin does not manage campgrounds or hiking trails, so the Parks Department does not require an entrance fee. Lake Alvin continues to be a favorite place for boating and swimming.

Lake Alvin did not obtain its space naturally. Constructed by a nearby dam, individuals created this space for community enjoyment and fishing. They named the lake in honor of Alvin Dempewolf.  Dempewolf embodied the only World War soldier from Harrisburg. Tragically, he died overseas.

In 1954, the dam’s construction attained success. However, water did not fill the lake until 1957. The concrete spillway for the dam was replaced entirely in 1994.

Numerous facilities remain available within Lake Alvin Recreation Area. Among them are the beach, vault toilets, boat ramp, playground, picnic shelter, drinking water, and fishing dock.

Geographically, the lake resides near Sioux Falls and Newton Hills. This convenience provides visitors a great location and various activity choices. For more information about Lake Alvin, call 605-987-2263 or visit 27225 480th Avenue in Harrisburg, SD within the 57032 zip code area.


🌲 Newton Hills State Park

Named after William Newton, Newton Hills State Park Newton Hills State Park was founded in the 1850s. William Newton settled here with his wife, a midwife. His wife embodied the only European American North of Vermillion, who delivered babies and cure the sick. This time framed began in the 1870s.

Formed by glaciers, the narrow strip of rolling hills and forest contains part of a geological formation called the Coteau des Prairie. It extends along the eastern boundary of South Dakota. Specifically, the Coteau rises to more than 2,000 feet above sea level. Interestingly, some individuals discovered artifacts and burial mounds. These items reveal that Woodland Indian Culture inhabited this region. This most likely occurred between 300 B.C. and 900 A.D.

Animal-wise, more than 200 species of birds visit this area every year. White-tailed deer, wild turkeys, marmots, rabbits, red and gray fox, and squirrels include some specific examples of the various species.

Additionally, Newton Hills hosts numerous folk music concerts throughout the year One, includes explicitly the Friends of Traditional Music. For example, one favorite show, known as the Sioux River Folk Festival, involves a 3-day event. This festival hosts guests annually on the first full weekend in August.

In October, the first Saturday dedicates a time frame to celebrate the popular festival. From 1 – 5 PM, this festival invites guests to engage in kids’ games, arts and crafts, and more. Some other activities include bluegrass music, hayrides., and options for food. Excitingly enough, pumpkin activities take center stage with pumpkin catapulting, pumpkin carving demonstrations and decorated pumpkin contests.

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After the FestiFall event, the Candlelight Walk attracts guests back to the park. Moreover, this walk leads visitors along 2.2 miles of candle-lit trail through the deep woods of Newton Hills. Candles and carved pumpkins light the trail, without flashlights or additional lighting.

During the summer season, Newton Hills hosts an array of activities. Specifically, the events target families with young children. Furthermore, the various activities expose participants to the natural features of the park.

Every Friday and Saturday evening, educational films remain available for the general public. Also, a non-denominational church service takes place by the park every Sunday between 9 am and 5 pm.

Facilities and services offered within Newtown Hills park include a beach, game checks out, vault toilets, drinking water, boat ramp, horse camp, dump station, a stage for events, lodge, event tent rentals. Moreover, other services involve a playground, fishing pole checkout, fishing dock, campground, flush toilets/showers, warming shelter, electric campsites, snowshoe checkout, picnic shelter, bike rentals, and camping cabins.

You can gather more information at 28767 482nd Avenue in Canton, SD within the 57013 zip code area. For more information, call 605-987-2263 or email NewtonHIlls@state.sd.us.

🔦 Lake Vermillion Recreation Area

Lake Vermillion Recreation Area embodies a notable place for swimmers, fishermen and boaters. Furthermore, the entails clear waters and abundant fish. Typically, sportsmen find waterfowl and upland game within a short time from the park, especially during the fall months. The location of this 512-acre reservoir resides twenty-seven miles west of Sioux Falls.

Created in 1958, individuals created Lake Vermillion by impounding waters from the east fork of the Vermillion River. First discovered in 1801, a French trapper came about the river and called it the Otter Stream.

Vermillion means vivid red color. Equally important, the lake remains locally famous for its walleye and muskie fishing. According to history, the stream derived its name from the outcropping of red quartzite along its bank.

Visitors from all parts of Minnesota and the Midwestern United States regularly visit the lake. They lodge at the lake’s numerous resorts and hotels. Tourists across the northern Minnesota wilderness are drawn by the Lake Vermilion’s reputation, being a fishing destination.

The Department of Natural Resources in Minnesota has rated Lake Vermilion as the fifth largest lake by surface area within Minnesota borders. Lake Vermilion covers a surface area of 39,271 acres with a maximum depth of 76 feet.

Here is a list of the facilities and services that can be enjoyed in Lake Vermillion Recreation Area: beach, camping cabins, vault toilets, bicycle rentals, ski beach, boat ramp, dump station, picnic shelter, fishing dock, drinking water, flush toilets/showers, electric campsites, paddleboard rentals, campground, fishing pole checkout, fish cleaning station, playground, canoe/kayak rentals and game checkout.

Gather more information at 26140 451st Avenue in Canastota, SD within the 57012 zip code area. For more information, call 605-296-3643 or email LakeVermillion@state.sd.us.

🧗 Split Rock Creek State Park

Split Rock Lake is the largest body of water in Pipestone County and the most popular lake activities involve swimming, fishing, and boating. Split Rock Creek State Park is close to the lake.

Tourists visit the Beach Side Trail Center for an excellent vista. The famous Pipestone National Monument is seven miles north of the park.

Facilities and services that can be enjoyed at the Split Rock Creek State Park include fishing, swimming, beach access, camping, hiking, wildlife/waterfowl sightings, and horse riding trails. Split Rock Creek offers interpretive programs from Memorial Weekend through Labor Day.

Full-time naturalist on staff are not available. The parks offers a list of activities throughout the year. You may also contact the Blue Mounds State Park naturalist since he also coordinates the programming at Split Rock Creek.

Habitats at this park are the lake and prairie animals. Along the lakeshore are beavers, Meadowlarks and waterfowl. Creatures like fox squirrels, woodland animals and woodpeckers live in the southern, wooded part of the park.

Provision of water-based recreation for an area of the state that has few lakes is the reason for establishing the park. The location incorporates a pet friendly campground. Most importantly, the campsite remains less crowded compared to other campgrounds.

Beautiful state park campground is also available. There are lots of grasses and trees, making this a pretty, lakeside campground. There are also lots of space and greenery between sites. The river is dammed just below the park so you’ve got a nice lake, boat launch, and docks within easy walking distance – and this is not a busy park!

Despite the fact that Split Rock Creek is not the biggest or most well known State Park, it is an avenue for those looking to escape the everyday hustle and bustle. If you are looking to get away from it all and listen to nature and experience the prairie, this place is for you, definitely worth checking out.

Split Rock Creek State Park is among the most famous recreation sites in Pipestone County. It was established in 1938 by the construction of a dam on Split Rock Creek. In the summer, southwestern Minnesota residents as well as vacationers enjoy excellent picnic ground, campground and swimming beach.

The most suitable period to visit this park is between May and October, daily, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.  However, office hours vary in the fall and winter. Visit 336 50th Avenue in Jasper, MN within the 56144 zip code area. For more information, call 507-348-7908.

🚤 Lake Herman State Park

Lake Herman State Park is among the South Dakota state parks in the United States. This is an all-year-round Recreation Park, which comprises boating, fishing, camping, hiking, and swimming. It features 72 campsites with electric hook-ups and two cabins. The namesake Lake Herman has the name of Herman Luce, a pioneer who settled near it in 1870.

Lake Herman State Park is established on a peninsula. The lake forms 1,350 acres from thousands of years ago as a result of melting glacial ice. Furthermore, the lake offers visitors spectacular views of Lake Herman. Favorite activities at the park include boating, camping, cross country skiing, and fishing.  You can observe wildlife in the native oak woodlands and prairie grasses that incorporates a variety of birds and animals.

For hundreds of years back, this lake has been used as a campsite. Lake Herman had become famous among Native Americans traveling to nearby Pipestone quarries, even before white settlers entered the region.

Here is a list of the facilities and services that can be enjoyed in Lake Herman State Park: dump station campground, electric campsites, fishing dock, ski beach, picnic shelter, vault toilets, boat ramp, paddleboard rentals, fishing pole checkout, camping cabins, flush toilets/showers, canoe/kayak rentals, beach, playground, drinking water and game checkout.

Gather more information at 23409 State Park Drive in Madison, SD within the 57042 zip code area.

🐦 Pelican Lake Recreation Area

Pelican Lake Recreation Area is a choice destination for naturalists who enjoy the migrating birds and vast numbers of prairie grasses and wildflowers at the area.

Tourists who visit this recreation area during winter usually appreciate the park’s cross-country snowshoeing, ice fishing and ski trails.

This Lake is also a popular stopping point for migrating waterfowl as each duck; fall and geese use the lake’s open waters as a resting area. A variety of shore birds spend their entire summer in or near the park.

Many large pelicans resided near the lake. Surprisingly enough, the lake received its name of honor due to the many pelicans around the lake. Visitors attain opportunities to view the entire area via an observation tower on the hiking trails.

This list includes facilities and services offered in Pelican Lake Recreation Area.
  • Game checkout
  • Fishing pole checkout
  • Campground
  • Electric campsites
  • Playground
  • Boat ramp
  • Camping cabins
  • Horse camp
  • Vault toilets
  • Dump station
  • Beach
  • Picnic shelter,
  • Drinking water
  • Flush toilets/showers.

🌞 Walker’s Point Recreation Area

Walker’s Point Recreation Area has been established along the shore of Lake Madison to meet the various needs of boaters, campers and anglers.

This 2,800-acre lake is a favorite for anglers, who enjoy on and offshore fishing. Lake Madison offers more than just fishing. As a visitor, canoes, and kayaks remain available for rent. Two camping cabins are also available in addition to the small campground. An accessible picnic shelter is located on the shore of the lake with great views of the water. Besides, a beach is available for water skiers.

Here is a list of the facilities and services that can be enjoyed in Walker’s Point Recreation Area: camping cabins, fish cleaning station, ski beach, drinking water, game check out, vault toilets, electric campsites, boat ramp, dump station, playground, flush toilets/showers, and campground.

You will surely have a wonderful time here because the campground host will always strive hard to make your stay worth it.  Cleanliness-wise, visitors, and tourists within this recreation area love camping. Specifically, the bathrooms remain clean, and the campsites attain short grass throughout the summer.

Having obtained a license, visitors can catch Perch, Walleye, Crappie, Bullhead, and Northern Pike. A fish cleaning station is also located there. Visitors can also have a nice time here, fishing from boats and the shore.

For more information, call 605-256-5003 or email WalkersPoint@state.sd.us. Gather details at 6431 Walker’s Point Drive in Wentworth, SD within the 57075 zip code area.

🐟 Lake Poinsett Recreation Area

Lake Poinsett Recreation Area is one of the largest lakes in the state. In honor of Joel Poinsett, the lake received its name because he was a former United States Secretary of War.  Not to mention, the lakeshore provides excellent camping opportunities and many other recreational activities.

Here, a list includes the facilities and services offered at Lake Poinsett:

  • Visitor center
  • Game checkout
  • Electric campsites
  • Campground beach
  • Camping cabins
  • Fish cleaning station
  • Picnic shelter
  • Vault toilets
  • Drinking water
  • Fishing pole checkout
  • Playground,
  • Boat ramp
  • Flush toilets/showers
  • Ski beach and
  • Dump station.

Two fascinating places where you can learn about the history of the area are the Lake Poinsett Visitor Center and the Museum. Neighbor Harlan Olson’s artifacts are always on display during the summer. The exhibits will take you back in history from prehistoric days to the late 1990s.

🎡 Lake Okaboji

😊East Okoboji Lake

The East Okoboji Lake is natural water which covers 1,835 acres in area; its location is at Dickinson County in northwest Iowa in the United States. It is among the chain of lakes popularly referred to as the Iowa Great Lakes. It derived its name after its Dakota-language name, Okoboozhy, meaning reeds and rushes.

The shallow lake has an average depth of 10 ft (3 m) and a maximum depth of 22 ft (7 m). It is prone to stratification and usually overgrown with algae during the summer months. Equally important, the lake is a popular fishing destination in the region, especially for bullheads.

The total area of East Lake shoreline is 17.1 miles. However, only 6% out of this dimension is owned by the state. Additionally, 85 % of it is developed. East Lake Okoboji was popularly known as the location of Iowa’s newest state park. The Elinor Bedell State Park offers access to camping, playground facilities and fishing from the shore. The lake’s watershed consists of 12,212 acres or approximately 19 square miles.


😍West Okoboji Lake

The West Okoboji Lake is a natural body of water. The lake covers approximately3, 847 acres in area. It is found in Dickinson County, in northwest Iowa in the United States and it is among the chain of lakes known as the Iowa Great Lakes. The area was long inhabited by the Santee or Dakota Sioux. The lake has a Dakota-language name called Minnetonka, meaning “great waters.”

Sitting on its shore are the cities of Arnolds Park, Okoboji, West Okoboji, and Wahpeton. Okoboji derived its name from the Dakota name for the lake. Uniquely, the lake is the deepest lake in Iowa, having a maximum depth of 136 feet (41 m). It is second in size to Spirit Lake. The mean depth and drainage area of the lake are 39 feet (12 m) and 125 square miles (320 km2) respectively.

The lake’s depth makes it a popular regional destination for water skiing, motor boating, swimming, and sailing. Besides, the lake is a popular fishing destination in the region. The main catches in the lake are walleye, yellow perch, and bluegill. It also contains a significant population of muskie, smallmouth bass, black bass, northern pike, crappie and white bass.

The three State Parks located along the shores of West Lake are Pillsbury Point, Pike’s Point and Gull Point. West Okoboji Lake, formed by glacial movements, has been considered a blue water lake. The lake is among the three blue water lakes in the world. Within West Lake, over 47 fish species remain present. More specifically, 11 species of popular sport fish reside within West Lake.

🎣 Wall Lake

Wall Lake is located at Hartford, South Dakota. As a matter of fact, Wall Lake remains the country’s only swimming beach, which is incorporated into the Wall Lake Park. The park is a 25-acre public use area. The park is adjacent to the lake and provides. Varieties of outdoor recreation activities are provided. Provision of picnic tables and grills are made at several sites and a picnic shelter overlooks the lake from a hilltop.

These facilities are available on a first come, first served basis. A spacious open area is available for field sports as children can enjoy the playground equipment. Furthermore, a modern restroom and drinking fountains are among the conveniences provided.

As a visitor, guests need to recognize the rules:
  • Lifeguards are not on duty. You swim at your own risk.
  • Pets are not allowed on the beach.  Leave them in other areas of the park.
  • The uses of glass containers on the beach are not allowed.
  • Alcoholic beverages are not permitted in the park or on the beach.
  • Young children need supervision by adults, especially when near the water.
  • For your convenience, trash receptacles are provides of the park.
  • Vehicles are routinely ticketed in ‘no parking’ areas.

📍 Map of Lakes in South Dakota

Top 10 Lakes Near Sioux Falls
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Top 10 Lakes Near Sioux Falls
Spending time at the lake is one of the best ways to relax. Here's a list of the top 10 lakes near Sioux Falls to help when you're making plans!
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